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Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Sony a7S Comparison

Storage & Battery

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Sony a7S

Sony A7S camera image
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Sony a7S
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
March 02, 2012
April 06, 2014
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III takes the lead with a score of 65/100, outperforming the Sony a7S, which scores 55/100. Both cameras have their respective advantages, but let’s first look at their common features. Both cameras were released in the early 2010s, with the 5D Mark III in 2012 and the a7S in 2014. They also share similar price points, with the 5D Mark III at $3499 and the a7S at $2499.

The winning 5D Mark III, a DSLR, boasts a larger size (152 x 116 x 76mm) and a heavier weight (950g / 2.09lbs), which provides a more robust and stable feel. On the other hand, the a7S is a mirrorless camera with a more compact size (127 x 94 x 48mm) and lighter weight (489g / 1.08lbs), making it more portable and easier to carry around.

Considering these specifications, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is the better option for those who prefer a sturdier camera, while the Sony a7S is ideal for those who value portability without sacrificing quality.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Sony a7S Overview and Optics

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III wins in the optics comparison with a score of 67/100, while the Sony a7S scores 60/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as a CMOS sensor, Full Frame sensor size, and the absence of image stabilization. They also have different lens mounts, with the Canon using the Canon EF mount and the Sony using the Sony FE mount.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III has a higher megapixel count of 22.3, compared to the Sony a7S’s 12.2. This means the Canon camera captures more detail in images, resulting in better image quality. Additionally, the Canon has a faster shooting speed of 6 frames per second, allowing for better capture of fast-moving subjects or action scenes.

On the other hand, the Sony a7S has a higher DXOMARK sensor score of 87, compared to the Canon’s score of 81. This indicates that the Sony camera performs better in low-light situations and has a higher dynamic range. However, this advantage is not enough to offset the lower megapixel count and slower shooting speed.

The choice between the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and the Sony a7S ultimately depends on the user’s priorities. The Canon is better suited for those who value higher resolution images and faster shooting speeds, whereas the Sony may be more suitable for those who prioritize low-light performance and dynamic range.

In comparing the optics of both cameras, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III emerges as the more versatile choice due to its higher megapixel count and faster shooting speed. However, the Sony a7S remains a strong contender for photographers who prioritize low-light performance.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
22.3 MP
12.2 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
5760 x 3840 px
4240 x 2832 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
24 x 36 mm
23.8 x 35.6 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full Frame
Full Frame
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
6 fps
5 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Canon EF
Sony FE
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Digic 5+
Bionz X
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 8000 s
1/ 8000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder Resolution
2,400,000 dots

Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Sony a7S Video Performance

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III and the Sony a7S both have a video score of 56/100, making them equal in terms of video capabilities. They share the same maximum video resolution of Full HD and video dimensions of 1920 x 1080. Additionally, both cameras have a maximum video frame rate of 60fps and neither has built-in time-lapse functionality.

Despite the equal scores, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III has some advantages over the Sony a7S. The 5D Mark III is known for its excellent color reproduction and accurate autofocus system. These features make it a great choice for videographers who prioritize color accuracy and sharp focus in their videos. The 5D Mark III also has a longer battery life, allowing for extended shooting sessions without the need for frequent battery changes.

On the other hand, the Sony a7S has its own strengths. It is renowned for its exceptional low-light performance, making it ideal for shooting video in dimly lit environments or during nighttime. The a7S also has a more compact and lightweight design, which makes it easier to carry around and use for extended periods of time.

Taking these factors into consideration, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is better suited for videographers who value color accuracy, sharp focus, and extended battery life, while the Sony a7S is more suitable for those who need excellent low-light performance and a compact, lightweight camera. Ultimately, both cameras offer impressive video capabilities, and the choice between them depends on the specific needs and preferences of the user.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Full HD
Full HD
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
1920 x 1080 px
1920 x 1080 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
60 p
60 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.
XAVC S, AVCHD Ver. 2.0, MP4

Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Sony a7S Features and Benefits

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III wins the feature comparison with a score of 59/100, while the Sony a7S scores 54/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as a lack of touchscreen, GPS, and Bluetooth. However, there are differences that make one camera stand out over the other.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III has a larger screen size of 3.2 inches, compared to the Sony a7S’s 3-inch screen. Additionally, the screen resolution of the Canon camera is higher at 1,040,000 dots, providing clearer and sharper image previews. The absence of additional features like GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth in the Canon EOS 5D Mark III does not affect its overall performance.

On the other hand, the Sony a7S offers a flip screen and Wi-Fi connectivity, which the Canon EOS 5D Mark III lacks. The flip screen allows for easier composition when shooting from difficult angles, while Wi-Fi connectivity enables quick image sharing and remote control of the camera. Despite having a lower overall score, these features make the Sony a7S more versatile in specific shooting situations.

Considering the feature scores and specifications, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is the better camera due to its larger screen size and higher screen resolution. However, the Sony a7S should not be overlooked, as its flip screen and Wi-Fi connectivity provide advantages in certain situations. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras depends on the photographer’s preferences and desired shooting scenarios.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
1,040,000 dots
921,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Sony a7S Storage and Battery

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III triumphs over the Sony a7S in storage and battery with a score of 76/100, compared to the Sony a7S’s 21/100. Both cameras accept SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, but the Canon 5D Mark III also supports Compact Flash and UDMA cards, offering more storage flexibility. Additionally, the Canon 5D Mark III has two memory card slots, while the Sony a7S has only one.

The Canon 5D Mark III’s battery life is significantly longer, providing 950 shots per charge, compared to the Sony a7S’s 380 shots. Both cameras use different battery types: the Canon 5D Mark III uses the LP-E6, while the Sony a7S uses the NP-FW50. Neither camera offers USB charging.

Despite the Sony a7S’s lower score, it does accept Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo cards, giving users an alternative storage option. However, the Canon 5D Mark III’s superior storage capabilities and battery life make it the clear winner in this category.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC, Compact Flash, UDMA
SD / SDHC / SDXC, Memory Stick Duo / Pro Duo / Pro-HG Duo
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
950 shots
380 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
24 bits
23.9 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
11.7 EVs
13.2 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'

Alternatives to the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Sony a7S

Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Sony a7S Comparison image.

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Canon EOS 5D Mark III or the Sony a7S:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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